Cameron Carter-Vickers illustrated his importance to Celtic without even playing last night

By Euan Davidson

February 25, 2022

Of the curious decisions made last before Celtic’s meek showing against Bodo/Glimt last night, leaving out Cameron Carter-Vickers surely rates highly.

Ange Postecoglou rested a number of players; something of a contrary decision given his enthusiasm for the Europa Conference League. Amongst those rested players was the Spurs loanee, who yesterday was linked with a number of Premier League clubs [TEAMtalk].

Unsurprisingly, given his form this season, Brendan Rodgers of Leicester City and David Moyes of West Ham United are amongst those reportedly keen. So, too, are Celtic, who have a loan to buy option; albeit, a quite expensive one buy our standards.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Last night, though, the Celtic defence showed how much they needed him. This was a night when basic errors undid the Hoops. The marking was poor, there wasn’t the urgency required in and around the box, and Bodo/Glimt manage to cut Celtic open more than once.

It was part of a wider grimness, no doubt. But with Jullien still not quite there in terms of fitness, and Stephen Welsh still a work-in-progress, there’s a reliance on Carter-Vickers. Given that he’s a loanee, that’s concerning in its own way, and Celtic maybe need to plan beyond his stay in Glasgow.

While you can point to last week’s defensive display and suggest it was no good with Carter-Vickers in the team, he was by far our best player. He won all of his duels; 6 on the ground, 2 in the air. His tackling and passing were crisp and accurate. 7 ball recoveries tell their own story [Fotmob].

Last night, we missed all of that.

Bodø/Glimt 2-0 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

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Cameron Carter-Vickers absence was telling; he’s a player Celtic rely upon

Now, this isn’t necessarily a team about individual stars, going forward or at the back.

Everyone contributes. Each player gets involved in attacking, just as they’re meant to in terms of pressing and winning the ball back. It’s about coherence and co-operation.

Undoubtedly, though, Cameron Carter-Vickers has been our best centre-back. Good as Starfelt can be, it’s no longer close at this stage. He’s someone who, theoretically, cannot be dropped.

And so you can sort of understand the justification to rest him last night, but Ange Postecoglou has said he doesn’t rest players. Equally, he valued the Europa Conference League. That’s what makes this decision more and more curious.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Some players demonstrate their value on the pitch in an obvious way. For others, it’s easier to see what they bring when they’re not playing. Carter-Vickers arguably fits both criteria. It’s simple really; you want him playing. He innately makes the defence better.

Perhaps last night, then, was a warning to the Celtic board: this is a guy you have to try to bring in permanently. And without wasting any time on it.

Carter-Vickers has potential to be a really important player for Celtic over the next number of years. He also has interest from the Premier League. The time to act is now, having seen what not playing him can do to our incrementally improving backline.

Read more: The glimmer of light for Celtic supporters after bitter Euro blow